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Disappearing SSD Syndrome

Discussion in 'Storage' started by Hood, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Hood

    Hood

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    I tried to shut down my PC last night, just to clear memory and because it had been running for 3 days straight, and it got hung on the "Shutting Down" screen for over 10 minutes, so I killed it with the power button. I guess I killed it alright, because the missing boot manager message is all that would come up. Went into Bios and the SSD boot drive was missing. I'm thinking, here we go again (this Crucial M4 is a replacement for the OCZ Vertex 4 that died after 15 days). Swapped SATA ports, rebooted, and it recogcnized it. Swapped them back to the original ports, and still recognizing the drive. But now Windows had a problem locating the boot files, so I had to repair the boot sector with a Windows Repair Disc, and fix other problems like the 100 MB "System Reserved" partition that suddenly showed up in Windows Explorer after I restored a drive image.
    Anyway, my question is, is anyone else having the disappearing drive problem, and how did you fix it? I'm getting tired of working on this machine every 2 weeks when my brand new SSD decides to exit cyberspace and seek a new life as a paperweight! I never had this problem with mechanical hard drives; SSD's are great, but not worth the trouble if you can't buy one that stays connected. I have a new system with all new parts, that all work great and are completely compatible with each other, which worked perfectly until 2 months in when I installed the first SSD. When that Vertex 4 failed, I asked the salesman which brand and model was experiencing the least amount of returns, and he pointed at the Crucial M4's. Everything I've read since backs up that assessment. 35 days later, the M4 exhibits the same symptoms. I've done all the tweaks for SSD boot drives, and I have the latest firmware, and all my drivers and Windows updates are fresh. Any suggestions or similar anecdotes will be much appreciated.
     
  2. mauriek

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    similar thing just happened to me few days ago, my Windows Hung and after hard reboot, BIOS find my Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD but it keep disappearing from windows explorer after a while, change it to Fujitsu 120GB SSD but after a while it happened again, change it to Kingston SSD 30GB repair with windows repair disc, reboot and after a while it disappear again, last night i change it to Pyro SE 240 and change all 10 of my Sata cable, reinstall fresh and now it seem ok (12 hours), maybe it is my sata cable shorting, because later when i use my old cable one of my drive will disappear, too lazy check one by one because i sleeve 10 sata cable to 1, but i'm still not sure, to tired to test it again for now.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. Hood

    Hood

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    Yeah, I also wondered about the cables, but all are new Asus SATA 6 GB/s cables, and all appeared to be tightly inserted. After I fixed it, I found this post on the Crucial forum;

    http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-S...-that-wouldn-t-detect-in-the-BIOS/td-p/110964

    I haven't needed it yet, but it looks like others have had great success with this method, and it's dirt simple, so next time my SSD goes on vacation, I'm gonna try it. Since this seems to be a very common problem, I wonder why Crucial and others aren't addressing this problem with new firmware. I have the same 010G firmware that others with the same problem have; they started having problems only after they updated to 010G. If it happens again I will consider back dating the firmware as others have done.
     
    hrobky says thanks.
  4. jgunning

    jgunning

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  5. Hood

    Hood

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    It's happened again, this time because the power suddenly shut off in my neighborhood. After reboot, SSD not recognized in BIOS. After 2 or 3 reboots it starts recognizing it again, but I forgot to change the boot priority after the drive came back, but after a few more boots I finally remembered, and it booted okay. I'm thinking that this problem is related to UEFI bugs, because it's like the partition table is corrupted when you shut down hard and dirty, but only for the SSD (or maybe the Windows boot drive, but never happened with HDD). Apparently this happens with other brands as well, and I'm sure that most of the drives people return as failed are really just going through the same thing, and could have been easily fixed. The only thing I can do is email Asus and Crucial and post on their forums until they fix it with a firmware or BIOS update. EDIT - I did try setting the SSD to hot-swappable in the SATA section of BIOS, maybe this will prevent losing the drive? I'll let ya'll know.
     
  6. Black Haru

    Black Haru

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    What firmware are you running? If it's oldrt than 10g that's your problem. Recently had this issue with my m4.
     
  7. Hood

    Hood

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    Yep, that's the first thing I did when I bought the drive, update to 010G. I hope they're working on the next update, and are aware of this issue. It could also be a UEFI BIOS problem, since it won't recognize a drive that subsequently works fine. I'm going to check their websites to see what others are saying.
     
  8. hrobky New Member

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    Solution, that works also for notebooks
    Great thank you for the link, it inspired me! I unplugged the power cord, removed the battery and tried to turn on the computer few times, to be sure that all remaining energy in the capacitors got discharged. Disk and fan can move, as they are attempting to start. Then I connected the battery again and turned on the computer. SSD got recognized again!

    I am on ultra thin Acer Aspire S3, where removing disk could be quite a challenge. I discovered, that disconnecting the battery worked just fine. On the image attached is the battery power cable depicted by the red arrow.

    P1032160.JPG

    My story
    This problem occurs also on hybrid drives. The Hitachi drive inside my notebook is detected as two separate disk drives (not partitions) in Windows (diskmgmt.msc). The BIOS screen is very poor on this model. You can adjust the time, switch IDE/AHCI and that's basically it. I'm using AHCI. The SSD NVRAM caching is provided via 3rd party software (ExpressCache) from factory.
    I correctly turned the computer off when the battery was under 5%. Next day I connected the power adapter, turned on the computer and discovered, that there is no boot device (???). So I booted from USB, installed Windows, the "F6 SATA/AHCI controller" driver, and all the remaining drivers. The SSD disk was not recognized during the setup now, although during the original setup it was.
    In diskmgmt there was just one disk (used to be two). Then I found this forum, the solution and rebooted. (pity, that AFTER the reinstall)
    Afterwards, there were both disks detected, and the "System Reserved" partition got recreated on the SSD drive. Maybe the purpose is to be the active partition and in case of accidentally booting from SSD to jump to the system drive. But I don't understand why is 100 MB partition necessary for this. Even more interesting is that it is NTFS formatted and is empty (with 28 MB used). There might reside the bootmgr's BCDs. But quit my hypothesis...

    Few weeks before this crash I was trying to extend the ExpressCache partition (type 0x73) on the SSD drive, so I stopped the ExpressCache service, deleted all partitions on the SSD drive, rebooted (too see if I've done something terrible), everything was working so I dedicated the whole drive to the ExpressCache partition (command: eccmd -partition) and started the service. Everything went well, after reboot the cache was working properly. So I was living as before.
    When the SSD disappeared I was blaming my experiments. I thought, that after deleting the "System Reserved" partition the data remained on disk and the crash occurred after a while, when the EC had rewritten the space originally occupied. When the windows setup did not detect the SSD drive, I was blaming the setup. When the SSD was originally partitioned setup displayed the type 0x73 partition as "OEM preloaded" or something similar. But when the newly installed system and EC did not detect the drive I started to search the forums...

    Although, removing the "System Reserved" partition might not be the cause, I'm not planning to do it again. It's just 100 MB of an 18 GB drive.

    Maybe if I have time, I will image the partition and zero it to see what happens. But it's not on my agenda right now...

    Again thanks for the link!
    This battery trick helped me once with the unable to charge problem. I did not expect it to solve also the SSD problem.
     
    jgunning says thanks.
  9. Rickster New Member

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    Sorry to join the party late - but I have experienced this several times before. The REAL problem is an ambiguity in the SATA specification in all computer BIOS. I have just experienced this again today myself with a Samsung EVO 840 SSD (my first time with an SSD). All previous times that I ran into this was with dual identically sized rotating hard drives. From what I have researched, this is caused most/all of the time by improper clean shutdown (by loss of power). On power up, the BIOS may randomly reassign SATA 0 and 1 port assignments. Yes, it is that crazy. You cannot count on SATA 0 always being SATA 0. Read the specs, that is a hole in the SATA design. Usually immediately swapping the SATA 0/1 cabling will immediately solve the problem, but then down the road they can swap back again during reboot. Dang, I wish the engineers will someday fix this - I would have hoped UEFI solved it, but after reading the above I guess not. I am grateful for the above info, I will try the removal of the BIOS battery and let the desktop startup with just the SATA 0 cable unplugged, wait 10 minutes, plug it in and reboot. Wish me luck...
     
  10. Rickster New Member

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    This is worth your reading: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/937251

    The BIOS may or may not enumerate disks in a specific order. There is no direct relationship between the BIOS order, and the order in which Windows numbers the disks. During startup, Windows switches from using the BIOS INT13 support to native Windows drivers to access disks. Windows waits for several seconds for the system disk to enumerate through Plug and Play. When there is a match within the time-out period, normal startup will proceed. Otherwise, the system will trigger a bug check with Stop error code of 0x7B. Windows uses other mechanisms to differentiate disks, as Windows has no control over the disk-numbering process before startup. Windows has no information about any changes to hardware when the computer is turned off. Therefore, Windows initiates its own query for device enumeration.

    The disk numbers that are assigned by Windows after it switches to native Windows storage controller drivers during startup are dependent solely on the order in which the disks are enumerated and processed by Plug and Play. Windows will enumerate available fixed disks, followed by removable disks, assuming that the correct native Windows drivers are already present and installed on the system. Various uncontrollable timing factors may affect the enumeration order. For example, most IDE controllers are designed to specifically enumerate the Master channel, wait two seconds, and then enumerate the Slave channel. This has the effect of providing an apparently consistent enumeration order, but it is actually a side effect of the hardware implementation. SATA controllers have a different behavior and do not experience this same side effect.

    Devices are presented in the order in which they are enumerated. Therefore, the disk assignment numbers may change between startups. For example, assume that you run Windows or Windows Server Setup on a computer that has two unformatted SATA or RAID hard disks. In this situation, Windows may present the second hard disk as Disk 0 when you are prompted for the disk on which to install the operating system. The enumeration order may change over time between system boots, depending on timing factors such as aging hard disks taking slightly longer to spin up.
     
  11. Rickster New Member

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    It was straightforward to solve my problem. I powered off, opened the computer case, disconnected the SSD Sata cable, powered up until BIOS indicated it could not find a bootable drive and that hardware config had changed since last startup, Hit F1 to save new configuration, powered off, reconnected the SSD Sata cable, Powered up again, BIOS found bootable drive.
     
  12. Steevo

    Steevo

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    I am going to guess your issue will return. The point of selecting the boot drive in the BIOS is to determine which drive gets the Int13 handoff, your disappearing drive is most like a faulty SATA cable, faulty power cable, or failing drive.
     
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  13. Rickster New Member

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    Yes, I do expect the issue may return if my system LOSES POWER and on a subsequent boot up the "random flip of the coin" SATA 0/1 determination "feature" is adverse. This issue can strike anyone at anytime (as Microsoft states).
    Did you read the article (just one of many addressing this topic).
    There is no hardware failure (i.e., no faulty SATA cable, faulty power cable, or failing drive).

    Heres another: http://superuser.com/questions/6688...ring-enumeration-in-windows-7-disk-management
    And another: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2407399/windows-recognizing-identical-sata-ssd-drives.html
    that I have seen on several systems in my office (we have Dell OptiPlex 780's with dual 1TB SATA rotating disks).

    Google kb937251 to find over 2500 other people who have discovered this bug/feature and solved their problem.
    Again, IMO this is the stupidest design issue of all times.
    Perhaps million more unsuspecting people are getting the error message that their computer cannot find a bootable device, and taking incorrect drastic action to reimage their drives, reload the OS, etc., when all that is needed is to go through 2 power cycles - the first with SATA 0 cable disconnected and the second with it reconnected, thus resetting the BIOS boot order. This is the first time I have experienced it with an SSD, but have seen it many times with hard disks.
     
  14. Blue-Knight

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    This is an interesting problem.

    My HDD acted like this when it started to have problems, now it is practically useless. That happened with few months of use.

    I may be talking bullshit but I think it is a problem in the hardware, when I start my GNU/Linux system with that HDD plugged it cannot be recognized in BIOS after restarting. I have to power off and then restart for it to be recognized by BIOS again.

    Now I have 3 useless HDDs and counting... Seagate disappointed me the most, all I bought started to present problems with less than 1 year of power on hours, being practically useless after the 2 year period.

    Now I have only 1 WD I bought already used and it has 3 years + 3 months and without a problem I am aware of. :rolleyes:
     
  15. cheesy999

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    turn off Aggressive link power management in the bios (or whatever your manufacture has decided to call it)
     

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